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The Likes of Nora Ephron

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We hope, but we know we won't see the likes of Nora Ephron again. It was a shock to hear that Nora Ephron was "gravely ill" yesterday on breaking news, followed just minutes later by the announcement she died.

In this gossipy Internet-social media-Twittersphere era where news often bypasses traditional media, it's surprising and refreshing nothing leaked that she was that ill. She died from complications from the blood disorder myelodysplasia.

Bravo lately has been airing You've Got Mail and having not seen it in years, I found myself watching it over again on TiVo. Ephron had a way in her light movies of cheering up our spirits and reminding us that we're all in this humanity thing together. While When Harry Met Sally is the bar that sets the bar for romantic comedies and much is made of the famous fake orgasm scene at Katz's Deli (which many of us probably visited because of that movie), the movie spans the larger question we all have once thought about or faced, "Can men and women just be friends?"

And even if some Twittersphere comments have said during a recent re-airing that You've Got Mail is dated in that it's a "dialup" modem, who cares about the one-second modem dialing in that movie connecting the characters via cyberspace? The point was the two characters Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan played who you hoped would get together, like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (which the movie references and was influenced by).

Ephron's movies were easy on the eyes in a bright, sunny way, almost like the way daisies are described by Meg Ryan's character Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail. Her movies were a pick-me-up when you just wanted to escape life, for whatever awful, real problems one was dealing with, you could always count on Ephron's movies to bring us through to a more positive sentiment. We all know people, or perhaps we ourselves, who watched When Harry Met Sally hundreds of times.

There will not be another Nora Ephron or her classic movies. Especially for a certain generation who grew up on her movies, we never thought they or she would ever go away, her trademark witty banter between characters.

This current movie era of decision makers doesn't seem to vibe towards movies like Ephron's about men and women and the human process seen through a thoughtful, kind, comedic light.

But we hope. We need the Nora Ephrons of the world to reflect to us what we're truly thinking, and done gently with humor.

As a friend just emailed, she wished she had gotten off her duff to write Ephron how much she loved her work. Ditto. May this be yet another of life's reminders to tell someone what they mean to you now, because tomorrow is not a given.

And while you're at it, watch a marathon of Nora Ephron movies together.